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Marketing Attribution Modeling 101: How SMBs Can Boost Their Revenue

Wondering if marketing attribution modeling is relevant for your business? Let me ask you this; How do you track advertising ROI when you have multiple ad channels in your marketing mix?

This is where marketing or advertising attribution models comes in. It will help you grow your business profitably. But should you spend a lot of time setting it up? In this article, I’ll explain not only what marketing attribution is, but also how you easily can leverage it for your business without having to worry about technical integrations etc.

Anyone can implement it in minutes!

A study shown in a MarTech Intelligence Report states that 84 % of marketers say they’re under pressure to show marketing efficacy, while 50 percent say long-standing marketing KPIs are being challenged.

Many small business owners and marketers are dealing with a growing number of channels and technologies where they can reach their audiences. But it’s also increasingly difficult to know exactly where to invest their hard-earned money…

With the rise of new channels, technologies and the importance of tracking advertising ROI (also called, “ROAS”) more accurately, the need to set up marketing attribution is growing fast.

Marketing attribution modeling is the practice of giving credit to one or every touchpoints in an advertising campaign or customer journey that leads up to a desired conversion.

– Carl W. Vedvik

It’s about finding the most profitable path to acquire customers, and knowing where to scale your ad budget to boost revenues.

Today’s marketers and business owners often use multiple channels when advertising their products or services. The challenge then is to measure ROI across all touchpoints and mediums. What channel(s) should you invest more in, and which one do you need to downscale or even shut down?

Attribution modeling helps you to set up the perfect marketing mix of channels and better know how and where to spend your advertising budget.

These models can become quite complex and tedious. That is why, in Adline, we built a software that simplifies and automates it for you! All you have to do is to create ads on the different channels inside Adline, and our algorithms will optimize your ad budget (6x times a day).

Here’s Why You Need Marketing Attribution Modeling In Your Business

Advanced marketing attribution requires a huge amount of data, resources and time. Let’s say a prospect clicks on a Google search ad, but then leaves the site. Later the prospect clicks on a Facebook video ad and then converts to a paying customer. Usually, marketers give all the credit to the last ad that actually made the user convert.

They will then allocate more budget to making their Facebook ads better.

But that isn’t necessarily 100% correct. Google Search created the awareness, and assisted the conversion. So should the ad budget be split into 50/50? Attribution modeling helps solve this question.

It’s important to note that, the purpose behind these models is to generate the desired conversions.

The attribution models try to replicate previous successes by predicting what touchpoints, or customer journey path, that most likely will generate the most conversions.

What Models Shall You Choose (And How Adline Does It For You Automatically)

First of all, there are multiple types of models and there’s no “one size fits all”…

There are two main categories;

Single-Touch and Multi-Touch, and there are even different models inside these models again.

Here’s a quick overview…

Single-Touch Attribution Model: The Most Standard One!

In this model, there’s only First-Touch or Last-Touch (also called “first click” or “last click”). These models are the easiest to use, but they also fail to take into account the important touchpoints in between the customer journey.

First-Click Attribution: This model assumes that your customer converted after the very first advertisement they clicked. Hence, this model gives the first ad 100% of the credits even though your prospect might have encountered other touchpoints before it.

In other words, if Google Search was the first ad your prospect saw before converting, 100% of the credits will be attributed to Google Search.  

Last-Click Attribution: Full credit is given to the last ad or touchpoint that the prospect clicked on – right before making the conversion. This model is the most common to use and the easiest to employ. 

Multi-Touch Attribution Model: You Need a Software (like Adline)

By using a multi-touch attribution model, you’re analyzing all the touchpoints from the first click all the way to the last click – leading up to the conversion. Some of the models assume that all the touchpoints are equal, and some assign different weights depending on where in the journey they are.

Regardless of which models you want to use, you will make life a lot easier by implementing software like Adline that automatically tracks advertising attribution (without you having to think about it)…

E.g. Adline uses algorithms to reallocate your budget 6x a day. Even while you sleep.

Let’s imagine for a moment that your average customer journey contains 4 touchpoints… We can use four different models this:

Linear: The linear attribution model gives each channel or advertising mix equal weight. In other words, all four interactions receive 25% of the credit.


If you had four different ad formats or channels, Adline would then divide your ad budget accordingly to give each channel the same focus.

U-Shaped: The U-Shaped model assumes that the very first and the very last click are the most important interactions, so they will get 40% of the credits while the touchpoints in the middle get 10% each. Like this:


Time Decay: The time decay model gives each touchpoint that is closer to the goal more credit than the previous one. In other words, we assume that the interactions closer to the goal are more important…


W-Shaped: The W-Shape is very similar to the U-Shape. But this one adds one more touchpoint into the equation; The “Opportunity” Touchpoint. In other words, the very first, middle and the very last click gets the most credits. The illustration below contain the different channels. You can see that the first one, middle and the last channel (Google) gets the same 30% credit. The % of the ad budget would then be optimized accordingly.


What model should you apply to your business?

Most likely, you’ll need to use several models… 

And this process, as you can see, of tracking the different customer journeys is quite time-consuming. But it will help you get a lot more out of your advertising budget.

Set it up with Adline in minutes!

You can use different analytics tools such as Google Analytics to measure attribution, but you would still have to manually optimize your ad budget on the different channels you’re advertising on… Suddenly, you’re browsing between 4-5 different platforms…

That’s one of the reasons why you should migrate your ads to a platform like Adline that unifies channels into one place. Not only will you get all your ads on one platform, but your budget will also be optimized automatically.

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